Spey Pages banner
1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Jack Cook
Joined
·
1,668 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went to the river to river today to test a multitude of lines on a few sweet Speys. The rods I took were the CND Expert 14' 9/10 ($345), the Heritage 15' 9/10($250), and the new Heritage 14' 8/9($240).

Today all the lines were sink tips since this was a winter rod evaluation and the water was a fast little run on the Snoqualmie, typical of a winter Steelhead run in Washington State.

The Expert started off with an XLT with 14' removed from the tip and 12' of T-14 sink tip. Next was the GrandSpey 7/8 with the same tip. After that I used a MidSpey 9/10 with a #9 Type 8 sink tip and a Long Delta 9/10 with the same tip. The Expert is an amazing tool. Every cast you can feel the blank bend deep into the handle. Every cast you feel the power of the line streaming from the rod tip at delivery. The rod performed well with the two long belly lines. It took everything I had to cast the XLT 100' feet with the T-14. And yes, this is a very heavy sink tip for this rod but I want to test the limits and this is the heaviest tip I use for fishing these days. To get consistent casts with the entire head required very high line speed and the Snake Roll was thee most consistent cast. After spending the day testing it I would not characterize the Expert 9/10 as a good winter candidate for the long belly line. With the MidSpey and Long Delta things were completely different. The entire head and loads of shooting line flew through the air on every cast. The rod handles shorter head like a dream. Each cast is like a ballet from start to finish and the tip turns over well up in the air across the river. The rod has no lack of power and as such no problem picking up the heaviest sink tip from downstream to initiate the cast.

The Heritage 15' 9/10 is my standard winter rod. Being a bit stiffer than what I usually cast it bends deepily into the 3rd section and then stops. As such it has a lot of lifting power and can cast the entire head on the XLT or GrandSpey as far as I want it to, even with a big Intruder or Waddington Prawn. The shorter heads works nicely also, both were cast deep into the backing time after time. This is also a nice summer rod with the XLT 8/9 on it. If you cast the whole 95' the rod loads very well.

Last but not least was the new 14' 8/9 from Heritage. Having worked in the development of this rod I can tell you it bends all the way to thee end of the handle like the CNDs. On this rod I cast a Traditional 8/9 with a tip and a Traditional 7/8 with a tip. With the 8/9 I feel the rod is a bit overloaded. I can make it cast the weight but it is a little too much work in my opinion. With the 7/8 and a tip the rod casts like a cannon. Even big flies zoom out over the water and turn over without effort. The two Heritage rods are IM6 and as such have linear power curves. This means they are not progressive. You put the proper line on them and casts them and what they do is what they do, time and time again. There is no deep well of power to draw from like rods from CND and Loop.

Here is the short and sweet.
CND Expert 9/10 - Excellent with tips in fast water with MidSpey type lines. Not a long belly line winter rod.
Heritage 15' - Excellent with long belly lines with tips and with MidSpey length lines with tips.
Heritage 14' - Excellent with long belly lines and MidSpey length lines with tips.

Things have come a long way since I started in this sport. Here are 3 rods for under $350 with performance off the scale. I remember paying a lot of money to get performance out of a Spey rod. I am happy to see those days are gone.
 

·
Jack Cook
Joined
·
1,668 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
WC 8/9/10

First I must confess I am a long belly line guy. That said I see the need for short heads in certain circumstances. For my 2 cents the 8/9/10 weighs too much. When you add too much weight over the amount a rod is designed for you subract the reserve power from the action of the rod and it is not there when you need it. I agree with the XLT suggestion above. For a dry line on the CND and the Heritage 15 I use an XLT 8/9. Not that this line only loads these rods if you have most of it outside the rod tip so as usual, if you are going to cast a certain amount of line make sure the amount you normally cast weighh the correct amount to load your rod. If 75' is enough then get a Long Delta or MidSpey instead of the XLT.

And most importantly, have fun!
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top